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Hell's Belles: Number 1 in series (Hell on Earth) Paperback – 20 Jan 2011
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"As sinful and decadent as melted chocolate on skin. A dazzling debut!" -- Cathy Camp
"Had me hooked from the first sentence...I'll be reading this one again and again." -- MaryJanice Davidson --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
The first book in Jackie Kessler's hilarious, sexy series about a succubus-turned-mortal.See all Product description
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It's so refreshing to read about a heroine who is completely comfortable in her own skin. Jezebel/Jesse has a sharp wit and a deliciously wicked sense of humour. She's an incredibly sexual creature and revels in being a succubus, so her new career choice of stripping is a natural one for her to make.
Initially it's hard to work out how we can have sympathy for her, she's such a selfish creature of instinct and need. However, once she takes human form, her newfound mortality begins to change her and she begins a slow almost unnoticeable transition from amoral demon to something else. The first experiences Jesse has as a human are incredibly well written and make you realise how strange it must be to see the world for the first time.
There are really two stories being told here; the first is Jesse's flight from hell and how she copes with being a mortal; the second is about the events leading up to her decision to flee hell (told in flashback). Unfortunately the flashbacks (of which there are several) are intercut with the main story and aren't signposted that well (the first happens in Chapter 6). Leaving the reader confused about what is happening, until you get used to the style.
For people who like to know: - this is written in first person, and there is some strong swearing, but this is in context and is something the person who said it would say.
I think it's slightly misleading that this has been marketed as a romance, I believe it's much more of an urban fantasy. The romantic subplot definitely takes second place to Jesse's story. But this shouldn't put readers off - Jezebel is such a rare outspoken heroine, it's worth taking the time to get to know her. (And kudos to Ms. Kessler for using a Ghostbusters reference. :) )
The Road to Hell (Book 2) is released in November 2007.
Looking for other Succubus stories, check out Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead for a different take on succubi.
the book is fast paced with a totally entertaining story. it is written in the first person, but it was easy to get to know other characters, which in other books written in this style has often been a let down for me. the lead character is totally brilliant. full of witt & a heavy dose of sarcasm, she takes you on a journey into the highly imaginative world this author has created.
this book is far better than i expected. the only thing i would say is its probably not as romantic as some would like, and there is the fact that whilst she has just started seeing the love interest in this book, she has a romp with one of her fellow demon pals. i thought it was fitting with her being a succubus and all & new to living as a mortal, but some people may not.
in addition, even though the lead is a succubus and works at a strip club, i felt the balance between sex in the book and actual story was perfect. whilst i love a bit of sex in my books, i do still want a story to go with it. this book had both, as well as good humour, great characters and an imaginative story. i would highly recommend this book!! give it a try, i'm glad i finally did! i have already ordered the next book!!
1. Hell's Belles (2007)
2. The Road to Hell (2007)
3. Hotter Than Hell (2008)
4. Hell To Pay (2011) (this seems only to be available in kindle,i hope book format will come out soon, i'm a paperback gal!)
Jezebel, or Jessie, isn't at all a sympathetic character to start with. She steals the witch's identity, doesn't care about other people and seems largely amoral. However her new human nature is clearly changing that part of her character and she starts to care for people and to change. She gets a job as a stripper in a club, Hell's Belles, which suits her skills from her former career admirably. However she's already bumped into Paul and he is about to cause another big change in her life. On the run from other demons who are trying to drag her back to hell, protected merely by her humanity and with the amulet she wears round her neck, can Jessie keep herself safe and out of hell? And what is it that caused her to leave Hell in the first place?
Rather confusingly a few chapters into this book Jessie seemed to be back working as a succubus and leading a man to hell. It became clear eventually that this was a flashback and there were other examples of this in the book - it might have been helpful for the fact this was backstory to be more clear. However these sections, where Jessie is in Hell, were fascinating; somehow the author has written her description of the different levels in Hell and some of the characters in a lighthearted and yet scary way with definite overtones of Dante.
This is a fairly earthy book with fairly explicit descriptions and a woman who is certainly at home with her feminine side. However there is more to this story than just sex as there's an interesting plot and some significant characterisation of Jessie. Paul, the hero, is rather more of a cipher and we almost learn more about the Satyr Daunuan but there are many good side characters in this story which lift it above the average paranormal romance and made it an easy and fun read.
Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book, [...] © Helen Hancox 2007
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to what i often read,